Thursday, October 21, 2010

Author Acknowledgments

As part of Thankful Thursday, I thought I'd chat briefly about author acknowledgments - the ultimate thank you in your published novel.

Did I mention I have a fear of acknowledgments? Well, not all of them - just my own. I'm terrified that I'm going to forget someone. Upset someone. Leave out a key person. I can only imagine how Academy Award winners feel.

So, I've done my research to figure out who exactly you should thank in your author acknowledgments. Here's my go to list:

  • Your Editor(s)
  • Your Agent(s)
  • Your Family
  • Your Critique Partners
  • Your Sources
  • Your Coach/Mentor (if you used one)

Once you have your list of people, try injecting a little personality or humor into your thanks. Many people won't read your acknowledgments, but many people will! I found this interesting article in the Guardian that says, "Acknowledgements are one of the few places in a book when a writer can break out of their fictional world and address readers in their own voice. This is something that perhaps is more powerful than we realise. While I know the text is supposed to be the most important thing, and I'm well aware that the biographical details of a writer's life should be incidental to the reading experience, the acknowledgement pages can have a subtle effect on the way I read a book."

I tend to agree with this. I do read the acknowledgments section of most novels, and it's interesting to see who the author thanks, and how they go about doing it.

Hopefully I'll be writing one again sometime in the future. Do you have any tips to share?


  1. I have been thinking about my acknowledgments, and fingers crossed that one day I'll get to write them. :) I would pretty much thank all of the people you mentioned above, and maybe add some kind of "inside joke" between me and the person. I may also think an author that has inspired my writing.

  2. I like the acknowledgments, personally. They're usually always fun. But writing my own terrifies me too.

  3. I always read the acknowledgments. I want to see who their agent may be or editor, etc. I also have been known to put off or not necessarily buy a book based on the fact that it does not have acknowledgments. I'm funky like that.

  4. What a great post! Thanks, Nikki! I've been thinking about this same thing lately. And I'm terrified of forgetting someone. Thanks for the list.


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